This is going to sound conceited —the first attribute that Liz used to describe though I think she was joking—but I’m blessed with my work ethic.

This work ethic isn’t just mine, though. It belongs to my father who has been waking up at 4:30 since he was 22-years-old with a young wife and infant me, working to build his own business. It belongs to my mother who, everyday, grins and lowers her head for an uphill battle, to the woman who never let me quit anything until I was done. It belongs to Mrs. Bailey who motivated me with praise, taunting this hyperactive puppy with a treat just out of reach. It belongs to Dr. McCaffrey and the other professors in Cherry Hall who reciprocated my tireless efforts. I like to think my fixation on doing my best is contagious and maybe even refreshing

Wanting to do my best, though, doesn’t mean I don’t complain. I often say, “I don’t feel like doing this,” and there is always one person around who recognizes the general uselessly of the task at hand—studying for a test in a class I already have a 95% in, reading the last 20 pages of “The Lighthouse” even though we finished talking about it the class before, or rewriting the introduction to my honors thesis even though I already passed.

I entertain the idea of “squeezing” by with the minimum, and once I entertain such an idea I get stressed and buckle down. But good things come from this—I’m graduating in the traditional four years with two degrees. I was named Outstanding Literature Major. I’m about to graduate from the Honors College with cum laude distinction. And as of yesterday, I received a distinguished on my honors thesis.  Yes, I see how this spill sound conceited , but such honors belong to the supporters mentioned above. Without them I wouldn’t push myself, and I wouldn’t be on the brink of graduation with a chest as swollen and proud as it is right now.

I’m blessed that all my stress and hard work has been supported and recognized. I’m blessed with the knowledge that I’ve done the best I can do. Now, on to the next task.

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